Dog Training World Forums Behavior Problems Fearful Dog and Puppy Help Poor critical period exposure and avoidance type behavior Re: Poor critical period exposure and avoidance type behavior

  • Michael D’Abruzzo

    May 8, 2012 at 3:41 am

    I will train through avoidance behavior if is due to stubbornness with a dog that is comfortable with me. For example, if I command a dog to come and they pretend to sniff or go get a drink of water. If the dog wasn’t highly motivated by what I have been trying to establish as positive reinforcers I may then do the proper corrections for disobedience regardless of the avoidance behavior. I personally wouldn’t correct/block the dog for it though if it was due to not feeling comfortable with me yet while building the relationship. I wouldn’t want to get a false sense of the dog’s comfort level with me – and possibly risk even slowing down the process. I will however speed up the process by hanging out with the dog on a shorter leash rather than a longer one or being on the opposite side of a yard with one.

    If it is an emergency situation I have “flooded” a handful of dogs in the past with my contact. It has been with cases of dogs in my care that I had to contact and all the avoidance/flight (and fight when cornered) behavior was more dangerous and stressful to the dog for a longer period than just getting the contact over with. So I am not totally against it as a potential plan. It is just if it is possible, I think you get a more accurate gauge with patience. Especially if you want a happier and more reliable presentation for things like recalls. This, will more likely avoid the “death march” presentation. lol!

    You probably saw this Darren video. An extremely fearful dog to human contact. But, somewhat relevant to the discussion: